Effects of running and walking on osteoarthritis and hip replacement risk.
Osteoarthritis (OA) is the fourth most common medical condition in women. Cartilage thinning and focal loss of proteoglycans are features of OA. Running and strenous physical activities are purported to increase OA risk as opposed to walking and less-strenous activities.
Data from nearly 90,000 participants were analysed. Proportional hazards analyses of patients’ reports on hip replacement and physician-diagnosed OA versus exercise energy-expenditure were performed.
Of the 74,752 runners, 2004 reported OA and 259 reported hip replacements during the follow-up (7.1 yrs).Of the 14,625 walkers, 696 reported OA and 114 hip replacements during the 5.7yr follow up. Runners were at lower OA risk than walkers across all activity levels, expressed as running or walking energy expenditure. With respect to BMI, OA risk increased by 50% in subjects with a BMI >27.5 compared to <22.5 kg/m². The corresponding value for hip replacement risk was 45%.
Recreational runners, even those substantially exceeding current guideline activity levels and participating in multiple marathons annually, are not at greater risk for OA and hip replacement. In fact, runners were more likely to benefit from less OA and fewer hip replacements than walkers. Finally, running significantly reduced OA and hip replacement risk due to, in part, lower running associated BMI. > From: Williams, Med Sci Sports Exerc 45 (2013) 1292-1297. All rights reserved to the American College of Sports Medicine.
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